Kousa Satomi: Please advise

Discussion in 'Cornus (dogwoods)' started by rls, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. rls

    rls Member

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    I was just given a Kousa Satomi. It's about 6 ft tall, in a large nursery pot.
    First, I've noticed that about half to two thirds of the leaves seem to curl downwards. Is this the normal growth for these dogwoods? I've never had a dogwood of any kind before, so have no experience to help me determine what is normal and what is a sign of stress.
    Second, a few of the leaf tips (just the very tip) are brown.
    Third, I have learned through reading some of these posts that the best time to plant these is early spring. Obviously we're well past that now. Should I try and over-winter the tree in the pot, and plant it next year? If so, what steps do I need to take to keep it healthy? (assuming it's healthy now), or should I plant it in the fall?
    I would be so grateful for any advice I can get.
    Bec
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    This east Asian species must be kept moist in summer or will start to flag. I have another cultivar of the same species in the back yard that droops every year despite watering. Competition from other, much larger trees may be a factor there. On other sites rolled up/drooping Kousa (and other species of flowering dogwoods) are commonly seen, probably multiple factors are responsible - perhaps just hot sun beating on the root zone in some instances.

    The brown tips could be dogwood anthracnose, this cultivar ('Satomi') seems to be susceptible and I have seen multiple specimens that appeared to be infested. A friend heard a dogwood specialist (Dr. Orton?) speak at a nursery trades convention some years ago who said the pink Kousa had genetics that make them susceptible to anthracnose that the white Kousa did not. Perhaps since then some equally resistant pink Kousa have been come up with, but 'Satomi' would predate such a development.

    The best time to plant hardy plants is in the fall. Early spring is a terrible time, but is commonly used for bare-rooted stock as that is almost the only suitable time for plants so handled. Kousa are not sold bare-rooted, so those would only be planted in early spring where the climate was so marginal for them that even balled-in-burlap or potted stock might be at risk planted in fall.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  3. rls

    rls Member

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    Thank you, Ron B for your help. It's encouraging to know I can plant it this fall. I will just keep it hydrated and as happy as possible until then.... maybe go out and sing it a happy little song or something. Just kidding. I looked up some info and pics relating to anthracnose, but fortunately, it doesn't seem to be what I'm seeing. You're probably right, and it's just the fact that we're finally getting some actual summer!
    Thanks again!
    Bec

    Btw, you aren't in the area of Wa that's having those horrible fires, are you? Hope not!
     
  4. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    I think I would go ahead and plant this tree ASAP, as potted plants are hard to keep watered properly. I've noticed the same tip browning on many of my dogwoods, but they don't seem to suffer otherwise. These trees do need supplemental summer watering in our area, especially until established. One trick that I've employed for such trees is to run a ring of sprinkler hose around the base to give them a good soak.
     

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